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Begin a yearlong journey with God by spending daily time in his Word and learning to speak the language of prayer! Walking through Jesus' stories in the Gospels of Matthew and John, Peterson's devotional features Scripture readings from The Message, short meditations, reflection questions, and application prayers plus room for your personal petitions or notes. 400 pages, hardcover from NavPress. Copyright 2012.
Blind Leading the Blind
After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, "Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?" But Jesus put it right back on them. "Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands? God clearly says, 'Respect your father and mother,' and, 'Anyone denouncing father and mother should be killed.' But you weasel around that by saying, 'Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I've given to God.' That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God's command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy of you hit the bull's- eye: 'These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. They act like they're worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.— He then called the crowd together and said, "Listen, and take this to heart. It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up." Later his disciples came and told him, "Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?" Jesus shrugged it off. "Every tree that wasn't planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch." - MATTHEW 15:1-14
Rules and traditions are useful. They are useful the way bark on a tree is useful: to protect the life within. They preserve truth, but they are not truth. All truth must be lived firsthand, from the inner life.
Why are rules dangerous?
0 God, let me never suppose that because I have inherited a few rules and traditions, I therefore have the living truth. Keep me in touch with the immediate acts of faith that respond to your living word in Christ so that I am resilient and growing in grace, not stiff and fixed in old ways. Amen.